The classic FiDi steakhouse, Delmonico’s, has a rich history dating all the way back to 1837; it’s also known to be the “first fine dining restaurant in the country.” One of their chefs even invented the now-iconic dishes of Eggs Benedict, Baked Alaska, Lobster Newburg, and Chicken A la Keen.
Sadly, the iconic spot had to close its doors in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and since then has undergone a complicated legal battle for ownership. Now, according to those representing Dennis Turcinovic and his partner Joseph Licul – who signed a new, 15-year lease on the space after the previous one expired on December 31, 2022 – the restaurant will return to its former glory this coming fall.
Still, the previous owners – the Grgurev family – have claimed that the restaurant will not reopen in its original 56 Beaver St. location, as they say there is “ongoing litigation in the NY Supreme Court regarding financial malfeasance by former Delmonico’s partners and associates.”
According to the Commercial Observer, Delmonico’s was run by brothers Ferdo and Omer Grgurev as well as their business partners, Milan Licul and Branko Turcinovic. In 2019, the Grgurevs sued Licul and Turcinovic to take over control of the restaurant, and won their case in 2021.
After, the Grgurevs were part of a separate lawsuit with Time Equities (who owns the building) for claims of $300,000 in unpaid rent, which carried on until the Grgurevs’ lease for the restaurant space expired at the end of 2022. This is when Dennis Turcinovic and Joseph Licul signed the new lease on the space, and whose press representative announced the reopening plans.
The press statement (as first reported in the New York Times) shared that Turcinovic and Joseph Licul are planning an extensive redesign and renovation of the space at 56 Beaver St., which will begin later this month.
Under the supervision of Dennis Turcinovic, owner and operator of Delmonico’s Restaurant Group, the restaurant’s new look will feature a modern design that pays homage to its 186-year legacy. Redesigned by European-based design house, WAVE Design Studios, the renovation will include five private dining areas accommodating up to 500 guests.
And, while continuing to serve their well-loved iconic dishes, Delmonico’s menu will also see several new additions as well as an updated handcrafted cocktail list.
“The original Delmonico’s Restaurant has been providing hospitality to New Yorkers and visitors near and far since it opened its doors in 1837, and we plan to bring back this historic culinary landmark like it once was,” said Turcinovic in a statement. “Our hope is for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world to continue to enjoy this classic city steakhouse for generations to come.”
Since the announcement was first made, the Delmonico’s NYC Instagram account & website put out a message stating:
We regret to inform our customers and loyal followers that the recent reports that we will re-open at 56 Beaver St. is false. It has come to our attention that former associates have been misrepresenting themselves to the media as owners of Delmonico’s. This is untrue, and legal action has been commenced against these individuals.
As the sole owners of the trademark and this iconic brand, we are disappointed that anyone would attempt to steal our name, but more so that our customers have been given false expectations about re-opening. We are actively working on our New York City reopening and will share those with you as soon as we are able.
Note: this article was updated after its initial publication to include details of the ongoing legal dispute over Delmonico’s, as well as the Grgurev family’s statements that the restaurant of the Delmonico’s name would not be reopening in the same original location. The piece will continue to be updated as more information is shared.
Written by Claire Leaden and Brianna Perry